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Celebrating Black Voices

During Black History Month and beyond, Dr. Martens is celebrating our Black employees and the talented Black creators from our community. They'll speak to us about historical Black figures who have shaped Black culture and the artists, activists and organizations who are pushing the conversation forward.


Jeantrix standing in front of a wall that is covered in graffiti. One man is leaning on the other, showing a closeness between them. Clothes have an edge of street fashion, with tears, patches, and paint.


Philly natives and creators of Jeantrix, Designers Homm and Nyce customize clothing and accessories into wearable works of art. For years, they’ve created pieces worn by the likes of Lizzo, Alicia Keys, and Janet Jackson. More recently, they opened their first brick-and-mortar store at the King of Prussia Mall to make their artwork even more available to the masses. Always encouraging others to follow their dreams, here they are sharing the designers who inspired them to pursue their own.

Patrick Kelly

A celebrated Black fashion designer who came to fame in the 1980s, Patrick Kelly's designs are exuberant, light-hearted and often pushed racial and cultural boundaries. He had many impressive accomplishments throughout his career including being the first American admitted to the Chambre Syndicale du Prêt-à-Porter, which governs the French ready-to-wear industry. One of his most notable designs is a Josephine Baker-inspired ensemble displayed in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

You can tell that [Basquiat] was very free when he created his art.. he was the type of artist that went and did what he felt and I could actually see that in his art.. He’s the GOAT, honestly.


A young artist known for redefining the art world during the Neo-Expressionist movement in the 1980s. Basquiat is most recognized as a cultural icon, graffiti artist, and painter who combined symbols, signs, and text in his works. He is considered one of the most influential artists of the century.

Iris “Barbee” Bonner

The Philly-based artist and designer behind These Pink Lips , Iris Bonner is often compared to Andy Warhol. Using words as visual tools to design wearable works of art that shed stereotypes and empower women, her eye-catching designs have sparked conversations and encouraged women to wear their confidence.

Dr. Martens will be donating $5,000 to Brennon Jones, a lifelong friend of Nyce and the founder of Haircuts 4 Homeless, a non-profit organization in Philadelphia that gives haircuts to people facing houselessness.

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©️ Downtown 81 used with permission by Metrograph Pictures, LLC and the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, licensed by Artestar, New York



You may recognize Luda as the effervescent personality repping Docs at our Smith St. location in Brooklyn. What you may not know is he is also a Hip-Hop producer. Influenced by his Haitian roots Luda shares his inspirations and what got him into music.

My heart was born in Haiti... The music in Haiti is everlasting... when I was kid I remember dancing to the carnival music.

King Posse

One of the most legendary music groups in Haiti during the 1990s. Uniting the country with a mixture of Rap and Reggae. Check out their song Retounen to get a taste of their energy and sound.


A Black-owned business in Brooklyn that specializes in creating custom apparel and designs. In addition to being a small business themselves, the shop regularly shouts out other local brands and support design programs for kids.

Dr. Martens is donating $5,000 to the Rev Foundation, an organization that aims to improve the livelihood of children in Haiti by providing food, clothing, shelter, and school supplies. Please consider joining us and Luda in supporting their work.

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Daizsa Jackson

Daizsa Jackson

Social Media Specialist, Daizsa Jackson manages Dr. Martens social influencer program. Self-proclaimed bookworm and textbook bibliophile, Daizsa is passionate about Black literature. No matter the genre, you can count on her recommendations. Daizsa kindly shared her reading list which features some of her favorite Black writers.

Zora Neale Hurston

Was a world-renowned author, anthropologist, and filmmaker during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s in New York City. She wrote four novels and over fifty short stories, plays, and essays over the course of her life. She is an inspiration for many writers and readers.

Harlem Renaissance

A cultural revival of new ideas and Black artistic expression during the 1920s centered in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. It was an explosion of talent! This era is responsible for some of the greatest American artists of all time; Louis Armstrong, Zora Neale Hurston, and Langston Hughes to name a few.

Kiese Laymon

Kiese is a Black southern writer whose work has garnered multiple awards and accolades. His book Heavy: An American Memoir was named one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times. He has several new projects in the works including a reading and writing program for kids and their parents.

So much content has been centered around our struggles, but over time Black authors have ventured outside of that box and have told more honest stories. The good and the bad and everything in between.
Daizsa Jackson

Daizsa's Recommended Reading List:

Find your next favorite author.

Upon Daizsa's recommendation, Dr. Martens is donating $5,000 to The Free Black Women's Library. "There's a lack of community and spaces dedicated to uplifting and celebrating Black female writers specifically. I love that this organization is committed to creating those spaces." — Daizsa Jackson

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Phony Ppl

Grid of portraits showcasing all five member of the band Phony Ppl

Phony Ppl

We met Brooklyn-based Phony Ppl in 2015 when we were introduced to their genre-defying music. Since then, we've worked on a number of projects and performances. They bring enthusiasm and precision to everything they do. Equipped with a variety of musical training and experience, Phony Ppl share the Black artists of the past they admire and fresh new talent to watch.


Berry Gordy Jr. founded Motown Records 1959 in Detroit, Michigan. Later referred to as Hitsville, USA, the music created here by Black artists shaped the music industry and society.

Thelonious Monk

A jazz legend and one of the most inventive composers and pianists in the history of any musical genre.

Blue Magic and the Spinners

Blue Magic and the Spinners were two influential vocal groups who dominated music in the 1960s and 70s with lush Philly soul and R&B hits.

Salim Washington

Salim Washington is the current leader of the Harlem Jazz Ensemble, a professor at the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, and an inspiration to young musicians like Phony Ppl.


KeiyaA is a New York-based singer, songwriter, composer, instrumentalist, and producer with a focus on rich, introspective R&B. Check out her debut album Forever your Girl.

In honor of our partners Phony Ppl, Dr. Martens is donating $5000 to: Children of Promise, NYC. A community-centered organization that partners with children and families impacted by mass incarceration.

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